On June 29, 2020, the Eastern District of Texas rebuffed a COVID-related call to reschedule a trial due to begin the following week.
The Plaintiff’s Counsel, representing Imaging Process Technologies, had filed a Motion to Continue Trial, requesting the court continue the case a month after it was scheduled based on travel concerns related to COVID-19. In opposition, Defendant, Samsung, argued that most of its trial team, including expert witnesses, was already in Marshall, Texas, and the supporting team from Korea was in the US and had been self-quarantined in compliance with the CDC guidelines.
From Judge Rodney Gilstrap’s order:
“Having considered the Motion, the Response, the Reply, the Court’s schedule, and the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Marshall Division, the Court is of the opinion that the Motion should DENIED. The Court finds that it would be prejudicial to Samsung, its witnesses, and its representatives to continue the trial. Samsung has expended great effort and expense to ensure that all its necessary witnesses and representatives are in Marshall, Texas and have complied in advance with CDC quarantine guidelines.Image Processing Technologies, LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. et al, 2-20-cv-00050 (EDTX 2020-06-29, Order) (Rodney Gilstrap)
… Furthermore, the moving of a trial date for a civil jury trial is an arduous task, especially when the trial is only a week away, the many pre-trial disputes have been heard and ruled on, and a jury panel of 125 citizens has been summonsed. Additionally, the Court has undertaken extensive efforts and planning to ensure that the trial in this case can proceed as safely as possible.”
It appears that the courtroom is getting closer to business as usual, and health concerns will be scrutinized.
Roughly 48 hours after this Order, the parties submitted a Notice of Settlement.